Famous last words

At my school there are valedictorian auditions. About twenty or so seniors with decent grades who seem like they have something to say are nominated, then they write their speech and  audition it to a panel of staff. The best speech and the best speaker win.

I like this. It makes a lot more sense than just telling the smartest kid in the school to write a speech. And I was thrilled when I was nominated to audition, because well, I’m a writer and I tend to have something to say about most things.

The problem is, I think what I have to say is not what the panel wants to hear. In fact, it’s probably not what my graduating class wants to hear. At the nomination meeting we were told that this was supposed to be a fond goodbye to our school and a reflection on the last three years of our lives that we’ve spent together. That’s a nice thought, but that’s not what I want to tell my classmates.

I want to tell them exactly the opposite, actually. I want to tell them that, in the grand scheme of our lives, the last three years don’t matter at all. Who you are in high school is not who you have to be for your whole life. People want to make this big deal out of it, but honestly, it’s a blip on the radar. Talk to anybody over the age of nineteen; I’ll bet not one person will say that they miss high school.

So maybe I’m not the right person for this speech. I just can’t bear to spout platitudes about “lasting memories” and junk, when I personally feel that it’s a load of hooey.

The thing is, I feel like perhaps the only thing worse than being the person spouting hooey would be to listen to someone else do it.


6 thoughts on “Famous last words

  1. I love it. I say go for it, and see what they say. 🙂 I was valedictorian and gave a speech at my graduation. My opening line was, “To the students, family members, and teachers of the class of 2003, and I stand before you now knowing full well that in three hours, not one of you will remember a word I said.” 10 years later, that’s all I remember of my own speech.

  2. I think you’re just right, though, congratulations on realizing this so early on in life!

  3. This is soooo true! I mean, I miss the times I had in high school with friends – but it’s the nostalgic miss, not the “I wish to go back”. It IS such a small blip, and it DOESN’T decide who you’re going to be. You’re so wise. You’re my favoritest highschooler! =D

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